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Old 05-02-2011, 01:20 AM
 
1,429 posts, read 2,114,062 times
Reputation: 1891

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Have you ever watched an ant hill from up close, and noticed each individual ant going about their daily tasks? Welcome to the human race, were just the ones with bigger brains!

I wasn't raised with religious parents, so I place a Christian God on the same pedestal as I do your Odin's and belzebubs and what not. I 100% don't believe in ghosts, an afterlife, or anything spiritual. I recognize the longing and beauty of the idea, and I definitely think its a beautiful idea, but reality is a whole other issue.

The bulk of the atheists I've met, I generally don't like. I have no desire to debate, discuss, or otherwise waste time reading The God Delusion or similar books, as that's simply replacing one Bible with another. In my mind - if Atheism becomes your goto for a conversation, something you spend time studying and learning about - you're missing the point. You've simply replaced one religion with another.

I genuinely think life is beautiful, simply for its own sake. I love helping others and try to do as little as I can to cause harm to anyone else. We each only get 77 years give or take on this planet, you have just as much right as I do, and who am I (or you) to dictate what you do with your time here? Who am I to harm you, or risk your time here by any of my actions?

I don't debate others who believe in something other than I do, and I often pretend and go along with others and their practice. I've been to church, I've stood in during last rights, I've consoled families as their loved one was dying (I work in healthcare), I think there are many beautiful ideas and practices and I'm glad people have them, but my honest feeling is (and my patients will never know this) - its all show for the living.

The thought that nothing we do here ultimately matters pops into my head regularly and I'm fully aware of it - but that's later. Right now is what matters, and right now we're all living and making our way through life. Our clocks are all ticking down together, and if theres anything I can do to positively affect another person, ill gladly take it.

I admire the positive church groups do within communities and fundraising, but as an Atheist I believe I have the bigger incentive to get out there and do my part, and I'm surprised more atheists don't feel the same. This is it, were all experiencing this together, each second that ticks by is forever gone...lets make it a good experience for ourselves and eachother while were here.

Anyone here think exactly like I do?
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Old 05-02-2011, 06:24 AM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
2,637 posts, read 10,958,774 times
Reputation: 3548
Quote:
The bulk of the atheists I've met, I generally don't like. I have no desire to debate, discuss, or otherwise waste time reading The God Delusion or similar books, as that's simply replacing one Bible with another. In my mind - if Atheism becomes your goto for a conversation, something you spend time studying and learning about - you're missing the point. You've simply replaced one religion with another.
I suspect it's more like - most of the atheists you've met - you never even knew they were atheists. Most of us don't volunteer such information unless pressed, and I know it's hard to believe, but many of us have never even read Dawkin's book, much less use it as a bible replacement.
Quote:
I don't debate others who believe in something other than I do
In person, most of us don't, either. It's rude and it upsets people. Discussing it on an internet forum is another matter entirely.
Quote:
I often pretend and go along with others and their practice.
This I absolutely will not do. Oh, I will be respectfully silent but that's it. I am not a theist, and I do not participate in theist practices. In fact I think atheists playing along is a big obstacle to our acceptance and in addition it is intellectually dishonest. I do not go to church, I do not participate in group prayers. I get a dirty look every year at Thanskgiving when my uncle starts praying over the spread and I just sit there quietly without bowing my head and speaking the amen at the end. Next time I'll stick my tongue out at him! (OK I really won't, but it's fun to dream! )

Quote:
I admire the positive church groups do within communities and fundraising, but as an Atheist I believe I have the bigger incentive to get out there and do my part, and I'm surprised more atheists don't feel the same.
I am surprised that you don't seem to realize that most atheists DO feel the same.
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Old 05-02-2011, 09:42 AM
 
Location: Sitting beside Walden Pond
4,609 posts, read 4,121,764 times
Reputation: 1399
I don't think exactly like you do, but I am close enough. I am an atheist with a lot of Christian and Jewish and Mormon friends who I like very much. I enjoy listening to their ideas and I have no desire to debate with them.

However, I do LOVE to debate theories of the golf swing.

I don't do as much as you to help others, but I am very nice to other people and I enjoy associating with almost everyone. Like you, I do not think our lives have any great meaning in the overall scheme of things, but I truly enjoy being alive and being with my family.

I am very sensitive to people who try to control me and I simply do not allow it, which some people find kind of annoying. Well, too bad. I enjoy people as they are, and if they do the same with me, we get along very well.
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Old 05-02-2011, 07:12 PM
 
1,429 posts, read 2,114,062 times
Reputation: 1891
Quote:
Originally Posted by tilli View Post
I suspect it's more like - most of the atheists you've met - you never even knew they were atheists. Most of us don't volunteer such information unless pressed, and I know it's hard to believe, but many of us have never even read Dawkin's book, much less use it as a bible replacement.
I'm thinking of 3 friends in particular, all of which where the read-dawkins-and-seek-others-out-to-convert type. Even on Facebook, when someone even mentions God they take it to be the cue to start a debate. Maybe it's that they're young (well, we're all in our mid 20's), but...what a waste of time.

I'm positive I've run across others who are more like me, and don't volunteer that they're Atheist. THAT makes more sense to me, as isn't the point of being an Atheist to turn our back to religion and religious fantasy and spend our limited time living our lives? In my mind, those who preach Atheism are no different than those who preach any other religion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tilli View Post
This I absolutely will not do. Oh, I will be respectfully silent but that's it. I am not a theist, and I do not participate in theist practices. In fact I think atheists playing along is a big obstacle to our acceptance and in addition it is intellectually dishonest. I do not go to church, I do not participate in group prayers. I get a dirty look every year at Thanskgiving when my uncle starts praying over the spread and I just sit there quietly without bowing my head and speaking the amen at the end. Next time I'll stick my tongue out at him! (OK I really won't, but it's fun to dream! )
My job is in healthcare so I am trained to focus on what is in the best interest for the patient. The people I meet are usually never in a very good situation, and I have been asked "Do you believe in God?" by people who were very nearly at the end of their life. My answer is always "Yes." It's not about me, it's about them.

Frankly I don't care whether Atheism becomes accepted by the masses or not. My feeling is none of this matters.. Every time I see my friends in a heated debate with a Theist, I picture two ants in a swarm of billions thinking their words and actions mean something, when it ultimately doesn't.
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Old 05-02-2011, 07:25 PM
 
Location: Within Australia
306 posts, read 113,753 times
Reputation: 210
i'm similar but not quite im more agnostic if they can proove their god than fine. ghosts yes because ive seen my share (or more) though the rest suits me fine
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Old 05-03-2011, 05:44 AM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
2,637 posts, read 10,958,774 times
Reputation: 3548
Quote:
I'm thinking of 3 friends in particular, all of which where the read-dawkins-and-seek-others-out-to-convert type. Even on Facebook, when someone even mentions God they take it to be the cue to start a debate.
So from your group of three friends you project their traits onto all atheists? I hope you see the error in that.

Quote:
My job is in healthcare so I am trained to focus on what is in the best interest for the patient. The people I meet are usually never in a very good situation, and I have been asked "Do you believe in God?" by people who were very nearly at the end of their life. My answer is always "Yes." It's not about me, it's about them.
I don't believe in the easy lies either, sorry. It's not difficult to deflect a question like that. I would say something like "it doesn't matter what I believe, what do you believe?", and take it from there. You can provide comfort to patients without lying about your beliefs.

If an Islamic patient asked if you believed in Allah, would you say yes? How about a Hindu, do you tell them you believe in Brahman? Do you tell Buddhists you believe in Nirvana? Would you agree with all those just to reinforce someone else's religious beliefs? Just wondering how far you are willing to go with your masquerade. What happens when one patient hears you across the hall claiming a contradictory belief system to the one you just claimed to share with them? Your patients are not served by lies.

Quote:
Frankly I don't care whether Atheism becomes accepted by the masses or not. My feeling is none of this matters.. Every time I see my friends in a heated debate with a Theist, I picture two ants in a swarm of billions thinking their words and actions mean something, when it ultimately doesn't.
Of course it matters. It matters to the future of mankind. I believe in the potential of humanity, and it is wasted fighting over who's imagined diety can beat up the other's. I am tired of atheists being reviled and stereotyped, and these closeted behaviors are a big part of why. Because the only atheists people ever realize are atheists are the ones who want to argue with grandma on the bus. And they never know that the nice nurse who cared about them in their time of need was actually an atheist who helped them from her own heart, not because she believed that some imaginary creature would reward her after death.

Last edited by tilli; 05-03-2011 at 05:56 AM..
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Old 05-03-2011, 05:53 AM
 
3 posts, read 2,010 times
Reputation: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheEarthBeneathMe View Post
I'm thinking of 3 friends in particular, all of which where the read-dawkins-and-seek-others-out-to-convert type. Even on Facebook, when someone even mentions God they take it to be the cue to start a debate. Maybe it's that they're young (well, we're all in our mid 20's), but...what a waste of time.

I'm positive I've run across others who are more like me, and don't volunteer that they're Atheist. THAT makes more sense to me, as isn't the point of being an Atheist to turn our back to religion and religious fantasy and spend our limited time living our lives? In my mind, those who preach Atheism are no different than those who preach any other religion.



My job is in healthcare so I am trained to focus on what is in the best interest for the patient. The people I meet are usually never in a very good situation, and I have been asked "Do you believe in God?" by people who were very nearly at the end of their life. My answer is always "Yes." It's not about me, it's about them.

Frankly I don't care whether Atheism becomes accepted by the masses or not. My feeling is none of this matters.. Every time I see my friends in a heated debate with a Theist, I picture two ants in a swarm of billions thinking their words and actions mean something, when it ultimately doesn't.
I am in complete agreement with this post, especially the underlined parts. I just don't believe in using Facebook!

Would I be considered an atheist as well, seeing as how I feel exactly the same as you do? I was never sure what to say when someone asked me what religion I adhered to. I don't want to spend too much time on the subject of religion, but I need to know what to say as I feel like I come off wrong when I explain my views. I never considered myself atheist or agnostic, just someone with no religion. I don't bring the topic up, only if someone asks me.
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Old 05-03-2011, 09:25 PM
 
40,201 posts, read 26,826,705 times
Reputation: 6060
Default It is so refreshing to see a youngster with such a beautiful attitude

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheEarthBeneathMe View Post
I'm thinking of 3 friends in particular, all of which where the read-dawkins-and-seek-others-out-to-convert type. Even on Facebook, when someone even mentions God they take it to be the cue to start a debate. Maybe it's that they're young (well, we're all in our mid 20's), but...what a waste of time.

I'm positive I've run across others who are more like me, and don't volunteer that they're Atheist. THAT makes more sense to me, as isn't the point of being an Atheist to turn our back to religion and religious fantasy and spend our limited time living our lives? In my mind, those who preach Atheism are no different than those who preach any other religion.



My job is in healthcare so I am trained to focus on what is in the best interest for the patient. The people I meet are usually never in a very good situation, and I have been asked "Do you believe in God?" by people who were very nearly at the end of their life. My answer is always "Yes." It's not about me, it's about them.

Frankly I don't care whether Atheism becomes accepted by the masses or not. My feeling is none of this matters.. Every time I see my friends in a heated debate with a Theist, I picture two ants in a swarm of billions thinking their words and actions mean something, when it ultimately doesn't.
Your attitude belies your intellectual assertions and that is just fine. We tend to overvalue what we intellectually claim to know and understand about reality anyway. Good on ya! (secretly God Bless you . . . well not too secret ,eh?)
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